The Animals Committee of CITES has agreed that Banggai Cardinalfish do not need listing and does not need to return for discussion at future meetings, after Indonesia presented the latest information from its ongoing management of the species.

At a previous Conference of the Parties it had been put forward that trade in the fish should be controlled but it was agreed that the host country would instigate its own management plan first, which has proved successful.

Indonesia returned to the latest Animal Committee in June to report back on its progress and it was agreed it would continue to monitor trade itself, without the need for any international restriction. CITES also agreed it did not need to return to the subject at future meetings.

OATA Chief Executive Dominic Whitmee said: “This is good news and demonstrates that CITES recognises that species listing is not the only solution available to ensure the sustainability of trade. Interventions during the meeting proposed that Indonesia’s management of Banggai Cardinalfish should be submitted to the forthcoming CITES discussions on marine ornamental fishes as an example of best practice. We hope this means that proper consideration will be given to alternative fisheries management measures rather than just CITES listing should it be deemed action is needed.”

Indonesia has introduced harvest quotas and permits before fish can be traded. Businesses must also be registered before they can trade in the species. There has also been an investment in aquaculture and restocking in the wild.

Read the CITES Animal Committee report here.